The following information was sent to me by a grandson of the Morgan family, Henry L. “Sonny” Zittrouer, the son of Johnnie M. Zittrouer:
Sonny wrote, “My grandfather was John Richmond Morgan who had a small farm between Clyo and Runs Creek (northwest of Clyo). On November 15, 1855, he married Adda Leonora Wilson at Berryville, (near Clyo) Georgia by Rev. H. S. Wingard.”
The records do not tell exactly where the wedding took place other than “Berryville.” It is unknown if the wedding was in a home, a church or elsewhere. The nearest church to Berryville in those days was Antioch Methodist Church, which was reportedly just off what is now known as the Lower Ferry Road between Berryville and the Savannah River. The exact location of this church is unknown but it is rumored to have burned during or shortly after the Civil War. The site is thought to be on property somewhere behind Thelma Goldwire and the late Rubin Goldwire’s home on Lower Ferry Road.
There was a cemetery and the late Freddie Helmey is said to have known the location, having walked through there in his lifetime but no location has been pinpointed during several attempts by old timers in the area who went on walking searches to try to locate the site.
John Richmond Morgan and his wife had 11 children, nine of whom lived to adulthood. (See accompanying photo.) They were members of Laurel Hill Lutheran Church and later became members at Wingard Memorial Lutheran Church after it was built in Clyo. John Richmond Morgan died three months before his last child, daughter Johnnie, was born. Adda Morgan moved into Clyo with the children after his death and operated a boarding house on the west side of the railroad in Clyo. Sometime later she relocated to Savannah.
Sonny’s account of the Morgan children’s weddings is as follows:
Maggie Belle Morgan and Montford Owen Blackburn were married Nov. 29, 1911, in Clyo, Georgia by Rev. T.W. Shealy.
Anza Leonora Morgan married Paul Augustine Fletcher on Aug. 18, 1912, at Clyo by Rev. T. W. Shealy.
Gussie Lynn Morgan married Emmett Joshua Hinely on July 27, 1913, at Clyo by Rev. T. W. Shealy.
Ruby Lee Morgan joined Paul G. Mallory in holy matrimony on Dec. 20, 1916, in Clyo with Rev. T.W. Shealy officiating.
Emmie Leona Morgan and James Allen Goette were married in the Springfield Lutheran Parsonage by Rev. T.W. Shealy on May 18, 1917.
Amelia Berry Morgan married Frederick Lester Dekle on Nov. 18, 1918, at 216 East 32nd St. in Savannah, at the home of her mother with Rev. T.W. Shealy performing the ceremony.
Johnnie Valdee Morgan married Henry Lovick Zittrouer on Sept. 20, 1921 at her mother’s Savannah home with Rev. T. W. Shealy officiating.
Herman Rudolph Morgan wed Mattie Zoe Mallory with Rev. T. W. Shealy performing the ceremony on Aug. 30, 1924, at 207 West Duffy St. in Savannah, the home of the bride’s brother, Dr. and Mrs. H. Rawls Mallory.
Irving McDonald Morgan and Ethel Yulee Sikes were married on June 24, 1927, at Calvary Baptist Temple in Savannah by Rev. John S. Wilder.
It is very interesting that eight of the couples were married by Rev. T.W. Shealy. Rev. Shealy served the Bethel Parish including the Clyo Lutheran Churches for many years. “He was a servant of the Lord and held in the highest regards, love and honor by all who knew him,” according to Zittrouer.
The marriage of Uncle Irving and Aunt Yulee was conducted by Rev. Wilder at his church the “old” Calvary Baptist on Barnard Street in Savannah.
Sonny stated, “As a boy growing up in Savannah, I remember Brother Wilder as a very friendly, warm person who always spoke first to everyone he saw on the street near or far from his church. During vacation Bible School or most any time he would have a line of children following him along the sidewalk waving and singing and shouting to people along the way. He was a regular pied piper.”
Sonny shared information regarding his mother, Johnnie. A superstition existed that a child born after the death of their father held special powers of healing. Although she never took a dime for it, even as a child, people who knew of her circumstances brought their children to see Johnnie. She reportedly could cure thrush and would breathe into their mouths. Again this was a superstition among some white and black persons who believed in the special powers of a child of such a circumstance; they sought her help.
Sonny summed it up, “This is the story of a large remarkable family. There were two other children who died as infants and another of the girls, Emmie, died at the age of 21 during the great influenza epidemic. To my knowledge, none of these uncles or aunts ever made a great deal of money or earned any great fame or publicity but they all lived happy and successful lives, survived World War I and World War II, and the Great Depression, had no divorces and reared families of their own, setting a good example for the rest of us.”
Information for the article came from Henry L. “Sonny” Zittrouer. This article was written by Susan Exley of Historic Effingham Society. If you have comments, photos or information to share contact Susan at 754-6681 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.